Functional medicine uses a holistic systems-orientated approach to address the underlying causes of a disease by examining the effects of genetic and environmental interaction on disease etiology. Functional medicine holds that genetic expression is inhibited or facilitated by environmental factors, and can be altered with changes in one’s environment.
Functional medicine employs a patient-centred focus, where the practitioner and the patient engage in a therapeutic relationship, which documents the timeline of a patient’s illness and wellness history. A functional medicine specialist integrates genetic, environmental, social, mental and emotional factors that affect the health of individuals over the course of their lifecycle. Similar to Ayurveda and Chinese medicine philosophies, functional medicine focuses on the individual as a whole rather than as reduced to a set of symptoms to be assessed in isolation. Functional medicine, is therefore, especially beneficial for examining the underlying causes of chronic illnesses such as autoimmune disorder, allergies and food intolerances, and other bacterial or parasitic and viral infections.